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Zongo Junction

Music Calendar

June 30 - July 7, 2010

Wednesday | 6/30


Harnessing the primal urge that has driven sweaty blues and rock & roll from Howlin' Wolf to Chuck Berry to the Stooges, Santa Cruz's the Spurts are classicists in the most lowbrow sense imaginable. A refreshing throwback to grimy blues-derived rock in the age of Pro Tools, the Spurts describe themselves as "punk" because it's the closest contemporary classification that fits. But what the band is doing is far more steeped in the early roots of rock & roll. That they can make such well-worn influences feel as relevant and immediate as a slap in the face is a testament to the commitment they bring to the material. Blue Lagoon; $5; 9pm. (Paul M. Davis)

Thursday | 7/1


This double bill may appear, at first glance, to be an odd pairing: Joe Craven, the wacky everything-but-the-kitchen-sink one-man band, and Vermont's jazz-cum-bluegrass quartet the Will Patton Ensemble. It makes a certain sort of logic, however, when you consider that Craven and Patton share a boundless enthusiasm for music that transcends genre. While Craven cracks wise with his fiddle and mandolin, Patton and his ensemble nimbly maneuver through a wide variety of genres including Brazilian samba, folk waltzes and Gypsy jazz. It's the shared love of a wide variety of forms that makes the whole thing work. Don Quixote's; $13 adv/$15 door; 7:30pm. (PMD)

Friday | 7/2


Though Naked Eyes doesn't have the instant name recognition enjoyed by contemporaries like Duran Duran, the band's string of '80s hits are unforgettable. Songs like "Promises, Promises," "When the Lights Go Out" and its cover of the Burt Bacharach–penned "Always Something There to Remind Me" are indelible marks of the era. The duo—vocalist Pete Byrne and keyboard player Rob Fisher—disbanded in 1984, and Fisher passed away in 1999, so this is primarily Byrne's show nowadays. Still, for those who are missing the grandeur of '80s synth-pop, this is an opportunity to relive the music of one of the decade's most memorable hitmakers. Beach Boardwalk; free; 6:30 and 8:30pm. (PMD)


When alt-country iconoclast Shelby Lynne won the Grammy for "Best New Artist" in 2001, it was well-deserved but ill-timed, since it came in the middle—not the beginning—of an impressive career. Throughout it all, Lynne has insisted on performing a mix of country, soul, classic rock, adult contemporary and other styles, despite pressure to become less eclectic and more marketable. In recent years, she has taken even greater control of her music: her new album, Tears, Lies and Alibis, is self-produced and self-released. Featuring all original songs, it is a minimalist effort devoid of commercial gloss, and it showcases her style in its purest form. Kuumbwa; $25 adv/$28 door; 9pm. (Sean Conwell)


The shining success story of the Britannia Arms Singer Songwriter Showcase, Santa Cruz's Jay Lingo won the contest back in 2008 and has been marauding the surrounding countryside, gee-tar in hand, ever since. Blurring western country rock with old-time Americana, Lingo speaks the same whiskey-sipping, honky-tonk vernacular of a Hank Williams or a Willie Nelson. There's also a raw and honest vulnerability that comes through in his lyrics on heartbreaks and handshakes as well as a natural songcrafting know-how that belies his age. At the end of the day, however, this is fun, rowdy bar music and a sure bet for a Friday night. Crepe Place; $6; 9pm. (Curtis Cartier)

Saturday | 7/3


With 13 horn-blasting, drum-pounding and bass-thumping Afrobeat maniacs on the roster, the only thing Zongo Junction has to do to start a legitimate dance party is show up and plug in. That said, anyone within a square block earshot of this Ford-tough funk factory would be hard pressed not to join in the hoopla. Drummer Charles Ferguson formed the band with keyboard whiz Adam Coopersmith after a stint studying in Ghana exposed him to the world of Afrobeat. And back in Brooklyn, the eager lads found more than enough diversity to staff the village-sized act and, apparently, a vehicle capable of toting them to California too. Moe's Alley; $10 adv/$12 door; 9pm. (CC)

Sunday | 7/4


A genuine Central Coast institution, singer and guitarist Larry Hosford has been part of the local music scene since 1961. Though now situated in his hometown of Salinas, Hosford has spent most of his musical career in Santa Cruz, apart from a brief foray into Nashville (where, he says, they told him he was "too country"). In the '60s Hosford played with the E-Types, a popular Salinas rock & roll band. In the '70s, he joined the Santa Cruz hard rock outfit Snail and went on to record an album with George Harrison. Today, Hosford continues to appear at local venues, playing country, rock and everything in between. Crepe Place; $8; 5pm. (SC)

Wednesday | 7/7

Smith & Sanders

Steve Smith and Chris Sanders paths converged in the desert town of Las Cruces, N.M., five years ago. They've been reveling in their unique musical alchemy ever since. Smith's Virginia roots provide the base elements of traditional Southern bluegrass to more than 30 years of mandolin playing, while Sanders is a Minnesota songbird whose voice still traces the beauty of her childhood choral singing. The duo will be performing Americana gems from their latest album Signs Along the Road. Don Quixote's; $12 adv/$12 door; 7:30pm. (Maria Grusauskas)

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